Treasure hunt – counter tops

One can spend a fortune on kitchen counter tops. We don’t want to go down that road. This is a very utilitarian piece of equipment. If it is within a reasonable price range and meets green building standards (i.e. no negative impact on indoor air quality), we will be happy campers.

Lo and behold, we have turned into very happy campers!

I found countertop material that came right out of the “salvaged materials department!” On a visit to the ReStore I stumbled across these two large, beautiful, and very reasonably priced 3/4” thick limestone slabs.

We had to get them to a stone cutter to turn the big slabs into the actual countertop pieces – which brings up the issue of transportation.

You cannot lay them down flat during transport, or they will break because of their very poor deflection properties. A quick google search lead me to a recommendation that stone pieces like this should be transported on an A-frame, leaned at an angle of 10 degrees.

All right, I have a bunch of 2 by 4’s laying around and I have a truck. Let’s build an A-frame big enough for the stone slabs and that fits into the truck bed.

So far so good, but we still have to load the pieces onto the A-frame on my truck. The loading dock at the ReStore certainly helps.

But lifting the slabs? They are heavier than they look! We were yanking, pushing, shoving – you name it – with five guys and two handheld lifting clamps. There were moments where I had my doubts that they would ever make it onto the truck – but in the end, they did.

Under no circumstance did I want to do this again in reverse. While I was driving back to Chicago, Cathy was getting in touch with local stone cutters and making sure they were set up for my arrival. Unloading was as easy as pushing a couple of buttons.

This was a treasure hunt turning into a real adventure. My bones are still sore just writing about it.

About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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